It all seems a long time ago, but it's only twelve years since we began visiting the Gambia. At first it was with our friends, Ian and Glynn Jones, of Northwich. They were the ones who had started building the school in Mandinari (I think they have at least four more schools to their credit by now!).
Together we founded SHINEAfrica, a charity dedicated to improving education at Nursery school level. I continued to work as a Trustee of SHINE but realised I was becoming more concerned about healthcare and education for older girls and women. Joyce and I founded GOES (Gambian Occasional Emergency Support) and this blog follows the work done since then.
We are helping with the education of teachers and nurses, with stocking the supply cupboards of the main hospital in Banjul and other village clinics. We have managed to increase the supply of piped water where available and funded the digging of wells where the piped supply has not yet reached.
The eagle-eyed among you may spot a few errors in the text printed below but we remain grateful to the support given us over the years by our local newspaper, particularly when the latest book in the Malinding Village series rolls off the Kindle!
Best wishes to all who work with SHINEAfrica, our supporters and our readers in general.
Joyce & Tom